The following paper discusses on the various aspects of the communication problems that are faced when one communicates with the people different form one’s own culture. Culture is a phenomenon that is present all over the world and has a huge impact on the minds of the people across the world. In these days, the businesses are expanding and the scope for working outside one’s own country is constantly increasing. This reflects the fact that people have to go outside their countries to do their work and when they meet the native people of that place, they have to mix with their culture. The chosen culture for this paper is the American culture that focuses mostly on the aspect of individualism that has a stark contrast with that of the individualism that is followed in the Asian countries. This has to be discussed by argument in comparing with the contrasted culture.
The global companies are expanding their markets all over the world so it is extremely important for them to apply the cross-cultural communication management in their companies (Carbaugh 2013). This has become a subject of the strategic importance. There are various sorts of communication procedures in this modern era. Due to the advancements in technology, some important communication technologies have been invented apart from verbal communication. These are noted to be the online communication processes by using the internet (Carbaugh 2013). Almost every company has a diverse workforce these days so they must develop a cross-cultural communication tools for their employees. This gives them the opportunities to see, speak and observe how the people from different cultures communicate in this modern business environment (Cavusgil et al. 2014).
In an organization where the cross-cultural communication has been developed, it reflects the fact that they have to deal with diverse business customs, beliefs and communication strategies. These kinds of communication strategies involve language differences, high and low context cultures, nonverbal differences and power distance effects (Mennen, Schaeffler and Docherty 2012). When a person from an Asian country like Japan flies to America for fixing some business deals, he has to deal with people who do not understand their language nor do they have any similarity with the culture that they follow. He is definitely not accustomed with the cultural norms in America. This is why he may face various problems in dealing with them.
The importance of the high and low context cultures is very important because this interprets the thoughts, reactions and behaviors of the employees in different contrasting cultures (Croucher et al. 2012). High and low context business cultures are completely different in their approach. The high context businesses are generally the ones that build on trust. Trust is the most important part in this culture and this is followed generally in Middle East, Asian and African countries. The business communication strategies in the high context culture is very much collectivist in nature and thrives for interpersonal relationships between the employees (Chaney and Martin 2013). The employees belonging to this sort of culture want to meet and communicate with the persons they are making the business deals with. Then there are better chances of the effective decision making.
The people indulging in the low context business cultures belong to the American and European business management backgrounds and they are motivated by the individualistic approach. The business dealings are direct in this culture (DeVito 2015).
There are several barriers in this modern day business context. One of the most important barriers is the language difference between them (Tenzer, Pudelko and Harzing 2014). An example can be given that a person has gone to Japan from America and he has to make some business dealings with one of the largest companies there. The main problem is that he is not comfortable with speaking the Japanese language properly. So, he is very concerned on how to make the business deal successfully. This is why it is of utmost importance for the global organizations to hire employees with proficiency in languages other than English and his mother language. This will give an added advantage to their profile (Richmond, McCroskey and Powell 2012).
The two ways of nonverbal communication are gestures and eye contacts. The methods of eye contact in terms of communication are regarded as benchmarks for honesty and straightforwardness (Burgoon, Guerrero and Floyd 2016). It is a considered to be a good sign in the US but in some Asian and Middle Eastern countries, it is regarded as a sigh of rudeness and aggression.
The companies have to train their employees on how to handle the unwanted situations by a proper communication. The American workers wave their hands or point their fingers to gesture about some important things.
The two other exponents of this cultural difference lies in the ideas of the individualism and collectivism. In this paper the home culture has been chosen as the collectivist culture and the other culture is the individualist culture that is seen in the Western countries (Hamamura 2012). The people who go there for work purposes face a lot of new things there. This is because they belong to a culture where group success for the people is more important than the individual achievements. They are raised in such a culture where the group has to be supported because of they want to achieve larger societal goals but the culture they have been working at present presents a culture where individual achievements are looked upon as one of the most important things. The needs and successes of one are focused more than the other things (Hamamura 2012). They face certain circumstances where his colleagues may be attracted towards self-success and they are less bothered about the collectivist approaches in the organization or in the society.
Some of the most important things in the cultural dimensions model created by Hofstede include Power Distance Index (PDI), Individualism versus Collectivism (IDV), Masculinity vs Femininity (MAS) management, Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI), Long term Orientation versus Short Term Normative Orientation (LTO), Indulgence versus Restraint (IND) (Taras, Steel and Kirkman, 2012). The people have to face some important communication barriers when they get to meet the people of the contrasting culture. They tend to communicate with them like their own people but somehow they are restrained from doing so. Though cultural diversity is one of the main things to obtain success in the workplace, those certain barriers prevent them from doing so.
It is a common trait that the people are becoming more indulgent in going to the other countries that may follow the complete contrasting cultures than that of them. This is also a factor that if the people go to the Western countries, they face this language problem most of the times (McCarthy et al. 2013). Most of the people from the Asian community have English as their second language but in their workplaces, English is the first language in most of the cases. This is also to say that the employees who may belong to the same country but in another region, use different words to communicate with the same meaning. This is very important in the case of the organizations and the HR managers have to make remedies for solving this problem (McCarthy et al. 2013).
In the professional areas, difference in gender is another important thing that has to be dealt with strict execution (DuBrin 2013). These things happen when the amount of the male and female employees in an organization is disproportionate. As the individualist culture is all about achieving the self-success, the female employees want to dominate the male employees and the vice versa. This communication gap restrains the organizational success (DuBrin 2013)
When the guests from the individualist culture try to assimilate into the contrasting collectivist culture, the host persons must try to listen and respond to their queries.
The host people should always listen to what the guests have to say with attention. They should try to help the guests.
They should never just listen to the guests in a casual manner and avoid them.
The host people should take the opportunity to help the guests as this gives a good impression about their culture and their own personalities.
The hosts should not also insult or discourage them as he is from a different culture.
Another option for communication in this modern era is the online communication which they should also keep in mind and follow some basic courtesy when interacting with guests from the selected culture in this global environment (Chen 2013).
The host people should always answer the queries through social media and emails.
The host people should not delete or discard the things the emails of the people from the contrasting culture (Chen 2013).
The emails that are sent for professional communication , should be dealt with priority as their impression is very valuable (Chen 2013).
They should not avoid or ignore the guests in the online platforms since everyone has the right to take part in it.
This paper can be concluded by saying that communication is a very integral part of the professional field. As this world has become a global village in the recent years, the need for people to globalize is very urgent. If the people stay within the constraints of the traditional society and its values, they will lag behind. This is definitely not what one wants. The barriers are communication is very much present in this scenario. This will prevent them to interact with the people from other cultures. The people from the host culture should always treat nicely with the people from the guest culture. This will help to create a better working environment and cultural balance.
Burgoon, J.K., Guerrero, L.K. and Floyd, K., 2016. Nonverbal communication. Routledge.
Carbaugh, D., 2013. Cultural communication and intercultural contact. Routledge.
Cavusgil, S.T., Knight, G., Riesenberger, J.R., Rammal, H.G. and Rose, E.L., 2014. International business management. Pearson Australia.
Chaney, L. and Martin, J., 2013. Intercultural business communication. Pearson Higher Ed.
Chen, W., 2013. Internet use, online communication, and ties in Americans’ networks. Social science computer review, 31(4), pp.404-423.
Croucher, S.M., Bruno, A., McGrath, P., Adams, C., McGahan, C., Suits, A. and Huckins, A., 2012. Conflict styles and high–low context cultures: A cross-cultural extension. Communication Research Reports, 29(1), pp.64-73.
DeVito, J.A., 2015. The interpersonal communication book. Pearson.
DuBrin, A.J., 2013. Human relations for career and personal success: Concepts, Applications, and Skills. Pearson Higher Ed.
Hamamura, T., 2012. Are cultures becoming individualistic? A cross-temporal comparison of individualism–collectivism in the United States and Japan. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 16(1), pp.3-24.
McCarthy, J., Cassidy, I., Graham, M.M. and Tuohy, D., 2013. Conversations through barriers of language and interpretation. British journal of nursing, 22(6), pp.335-339.
Mennen, I., Schaeffler, F. and Docherty, G., 2012. Cross-language differences in fundamental frequency range: A comparison of English and German a. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 131(3), pp.2249-2260.
Richmond, V.P., McCroskey, J.C. and Powell, L., 2012. Organizational communication for survival. Pearson Higher Ed.
Taras, V., Steel, P. and Kirkman, B.L., 2012. Improving national cultural indices using a longitudinal meta-analysis of Hofstede's dimensions. Journal of World Business, 47(3), pp.329-341.
Tenzer, H., Pudelko, M. and Harzing, A.W., 2014. The impact of language barriers on trust formation in multinational teams. Journal of International Business Studies, 45(5), pp.508-535.
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